Turn the Tide Quickly on an Active COVID Infection

January 28, 2021


Michael Murray, ND



Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized Podcast, your health personalized, made possible by Village Green Apothecary. I’m your host, Rebekah Kelley.

Our guest today is Dr. Michael Murray. Dr. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine. He has published over 30 books featuring natural approaches to health. He is a graduate, former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Murray has dedicated his life to educating physicians, patients and the general public on the tremendous healing power of nature. In addition to his books, which have cumulative sales of over 5 million copies, Dr. Murray has written numerous articles for major publications, appeared in hundreds of radio and TV programs, and lectured to hundreds of thousands of people nationwide. For the past 35 years, Dr. Murray has been compiling a massive database of original scientific studies from medical literature. He has personally collected over 65,000 articles from scientific literature, which provide strong evidence on the effectiveness of diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural measures in the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease. It is from this constantly expanding database that Dr. Murray provides answers on health and healing. Thanks for being on the show, Dr. Murray.

Dr. Michael Murray: My pleasure.

Rebekah Kelley: You have shared that you had COVID. You’ve had the experience and taken steps to address it. What foods did you take or eat? What supplements? How did you combat it? So if someone else finds themselves in that situation, what could they do?

Dr. Michael Murray: Well, on a daily basis, I take 27 different supplements. So I generally take quite a bit. I did have COVID, but it wasn’t very severe. I just felt like I had jet lag. But I’m thankful for the experience, because it was a different type of fatigue. Now I can empathize with people who are still suffering from the long haul version of COVID, where they’re battling this fatigue.

When I started having symptoms and I thought this might be COVID, I went and got tested. However, I was feeling better almost immediately. I just did the smart thing and rested and took more supplements than my normal hardy mix. But I started dosing with quercetin. Quercetin has some really interesting effects against this virus and it’s being studied right now in eight double-blind, placebo controlled studies.

One of the great outcomes of this pandemic has been how fast many researchers have been able to get grants to study some of these natural compounds. If you look at the number of studies that are being done with nutritional supplements and natural products, it’s probably in the range of 500 total. But there are eight studies right now utilizing quercetin.

Quercetin is a flavonoid. It’s responsible for the colors we see in many fruits, flowers and vegetables. Quercetin is kind of the backbone flavonoid. It’s really important for fighting this virus and has been shown to exert a number of blocking effects on it. Everyone probably is aware that this virus has spike proteins that bind to certain receptors called ACE2 receptors. Well,  quercetin can inhibit that binding. Quercetin also increases the concentration of ionic zinc in the cells. And zinc blocks the replication of the virus. Quercetin can also directly neutralize viral proteins that are critical for that virus to replicate. So there are a lot of interesting actions with quercetin.

Regular quercetin is not absorbed very well. So people need to utilize more absorbable forms. One is called EMIQ. Another is Quercetin Phytosome. And the one that I took was called Quercetin LipoMicel Matrix; it’s made by Natural Factors. I really liked that product. I’d recommend taking, for prevention, just 2 capsules a day. But as soon as someone starts showing symptoms or tests positive, they’re going to need much higher doses. I would take four capsules twice a day. They’re going to need eight capsules a day or 2,000 milligrams of the Quercetin Phytosome or the Quercetin LipoMicel Matrix.

Rebekah Kelley: Anything in addition to the quercetin?

Dr. Michael Murray: Well, you know, you really need to bump up vitamin C. There’s some really good studies that have been done with high dose intravenous vitamin C in people who were hospitalized. It basically cuts the death rate in half. So just giving people high doses of vitamin C intravenously in hospitals might have saved half the people that died. If you’re not hospitalized with the virus, you still need vitamin C to help reduce the severity. So I would bump up vitamin C levels when you’re dealing with an active infection. I think 500 to 1,000 milligrams every 2 hours, or at least three times a day, is a good thing to do.

Vitamin D3, I think, has more effects preventatively. But I would still do vitamin D3. The fat-soluble vitamin that is really useful when you’re having an active infection is vitamin A. The concern about vitamin A is if there’s any chance a woman could be pregnant or get pregnant, then she can only take 5,000 IUs. For men and women, where there’s no chance of getting pregnant, most nutritionally oriented doctors would recommend taking 50,000 IUs of vitamin A for a 1 to 3-day period.

This high dose of vitamin A has been shown to be very helpful in many parts of the world in dealing with viral infections. I think it’s a powerful way to change things quickly with this virus. It hasn’t been studied in COVID-19, but it’s been studied in other viral illnesses. So there’s a history of vitamin A that shows that it’s safe if administered at high doses, for short periods of time with viral illnesses. But I wouldn’t do it any more than 3 days. 50,000 IUs of vitamin A per day for 3 days, I think can really help turn the tide.

Rebekah Kelley: Okay. So anything beyond that?

Dr. Michael Murray: I still like N-acetyl cysteine. I talked about that in my earlier interview. A little different now. We still want to boost glutathione not only for its antiviral activities, but now, for its anti-inflammatory effects. N- acetyl cysteine is a mucolytic. It’s been used in hospitals for decades to help break down thick mucus. So this is really important in any upper respiratory tract infection. We want to make sure that the respiratory tract is as protected as possible, that it is not being clogged by thick, heavy mucus. N- acetyl cysteine can break up that thick mucus, help clear an infection faster, and also prevent a secondary bacterial infection.

Rebekah Kelley: I’ve heard you mention that it’s not just a respiratory situation with COVID-19, but it’s also internal, gastrointestinal. Are there any foods that you would recommend people focus on or make sure that they’re part of their diet?

Dr. Michael Murray: Yeah, I do believe that this virus is as much gastrointestinal infection as it is respiratory tract infection. There’s a lot of data to support that. All these supplements that we’ve been talking about are very important for barrier function.

The key thing with gastrointestinal function is to keep things flowing, making sure that people are eating enough fiber and drinking enough water and keeping things fluid.

I like a lot of phytochemicals to help with this situation with COVID-19. Drinking ginger tea, or taking a ginger shot, or herbal teas in general, getting enough richly colored fruits and vegetables, and juicing are all great ways to deliver those phytochemicals when people are sick and not wanting to eat or not well enough to eat. So those are some things that I would strongly recommend, especially during an active infection, but also as a preventative, as well.

Rebekah Kelley: So as we wrap this up, if you were choosing three to five points saying this is what you need to do, what would you would focus on?

Dr. Michael Murray: For an active infection, focus on things we know can help turn the tide quickly. I think quercetin will be shown to do that. N-acetyl cysteine is a must. High doses of vitamin A. Continue to have supportive nutrients for our immune system. Stay well hydrated; drink lots of teas, herbal teas, ginger shots, fresh vegetable juices and broths. Get enough rest and take it easy. Those are all general recommendations for letting your body heal and recover.

Rebekah Kelley: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Murray. We really appreciate your being on the show. Have a great day.

Dr. Michael Murray: All right. Thank you.

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